Ballmer Talks the Walk But Keeps Door Open

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 01, 2008

In Steve Ballmer’s town hall meeting/call this morning, reported on Silicon Alley Insider, the Microsoft CEO said he wouldn’t pay a penny more than Yahoo is worth. He didn’t say, however, that he wouldn’t pay more than his current offer. All signs still point to quiet negotiations going on for a deal in the low to mid-30s a share. Wouldn’t be surprised, if Yahoo keeps stalling, to see Microsoft launch the proxy war, but it’s hard to see it taking a walk just yet, if ever—though Yahoo investors seem to be betting today that’s more of a possibility, as they knock the stock down a bit on a big up day for the overall market. If Ballmer were going to walk, I think he would have walked already, instead of just talking about walking. But as Kara Swisher says, in a post saying that something could happen at 1 p.m. Pacific today, Ballmer could easily take a hike for awhile to show Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang who’s boss.

Meanwhile—and I admit that this is really why I wanted to do this post, in the absence of real news—get a load of this wicked quote at the end of this post on Portfolio.com from a money manager who asked not to be named (can’t imagine why):

“It’s like the third marriage of two B-movie stars. It may not really be what either of them needs, but they can’t think of anything better to do.”

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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